72-Hour Global Design Challenge

Digital Anthropology

October 21 to October 23, 2022. (global time)
72-Hour Global Design Challenge

UNESCO and the LiiV Center are launching a 72-Hour Global Design Challenge from Friday 21 October to Sunday 23 October 2022

We are looking for individuals or teams to help us come up with ideas for innovative digital methodologies and tools that blend digital anthropology and data science.

We will do this by experimenting and finding solutions to real social problems with speed and scale in a 72 hours hackathon.

This Challenge is part of a global partnership between UNESCO and the Liiv Center to advance the science of digital innovation in anthropology.

48-Hour Global Design Challenge

Why are we doing this?

At a time when technology and the internet are changing what it means to be human, society must understand these changes and empathize with the lives of people and communities today. Since the COVID-19 pandemic emerged in 2020, an already fast digitalization trend has accelerated, fuelled by the use of artificial intelligence in many domains in our societies and economies.

The solutions to our most pressing problems lie at the intersection of technology and culture. Thus, in studying the relationship between culture and technology, anthropology is a gateway to sound policies, practices and regulations.

The world needs more global access, awareness, and investment in innovative tools and training for anthropologists and practitioners to study digital life at a speed that can respond to urgent global issues.

This Global Design Challenge encourages participants to use their knowledge and creativity to generate bold ideas to solve a global social problem and advance digital innovations in anthropology tools.

72-Hour Global Design Challenge

How will it work?

You can join as an individual or as a team. We will assign you to one if you don’t have a team.

All teams must be interdisciplinary, which means to be integrated by at least one person related to:

  • Social and Human Sciences- Anthropology, Ethnography, Sociology, Philosophy, Ethics
  • Technology, Data Science, and Computer Science
  • Innovation and Design- UX Researchers, UX Designers, Business designers, Service designers

The challenge will run over the weekend of Friday, 21 October from 1930* until Sunday, 23 October 2022. This online event will be asynchronous but seeks real-time global co-creation

Once the 72-hour hackathon is over, we will choose five finalists to pitch in front of a jury that will select the winner and award them a USD 10,000 grant towards developing their idea further.

Detailed Challenge Journey

+ Participants receive mentoring and toolkits to facilitate the process with methods and templates.
+ Communication with the participants through Slack and notifications emails.
+ Inspirational talks by selected speakers.
+ Networking and cross-pollination online spaces
*global time – wh.erever you are in the world!
72-Hour Global Design Challenge

What is the challenge statement?

+ How might we use Digital Anthropology methods for the early identification of online discrimination?

+ How might we use Digital Anthropology to understand the causes and implications of online violence against Women and LGBTQI+?

+ How might we use Digital Anthropology methods to identify and prevent the spread of stereotypes and false narratives about women migrants and refugees?

Some of the characteristics we look for in solutions are:
  • Potential application in problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Speed and depth of the results obtained in rapidly changing contexts.
  • Innovative ways in which “thick” and “big” data are used and combined.
  • Accessibility and adaptability of the methods to different cultural and material contexts.
  • Sound social and anthropological theories.
  • Ethical contributions to data privacy, online discrimination, digital surveillance, ethical algorithms, public opinion formation, and disinformation.
  • Use a real example in an online context, using real data.
See the full Challenge brief here

Your data will be managed under the privacy policies of UNESCO and LiiV

72-Hour Global Design Challenge

Who can participate?

Anyone! But, you may find this challenge to be most relevant to you if you are interested in big & thick data + digital tools & methods to understand digital cultures and communities.

We are particularly interested in hearing from post-grad university students who are studying the human sciences, anthropology, business, public policy, research data science, communications and innovation at all levels.

Why should I participate?


The prize consists of a $10,000 UNESCO grant to the winner,(s) which will be spent on developing the winning idea further. This will consist of a consultancy contract with UNESCO for a maximum of 6 months to work on transforming your idea into a real project. The prize is designed to financially support the development of the winning solution so that the work and time spent by the team are duly rewarded.

The winning idea will be chosen based on Evaluation Criteria to be shared ahead of challenge. Ideas evaluated by a panel of global advisors to the project


+ You will learn new skills and put new ones into practice
+ You will meet other people in your field
+ Have fun!

Do I need to spend 72 hours on this?

Teams can spend as much or as little time on their idea(s) as they would like within the 72-hour period as long as they submit ideas/pitches that meet the criteria below. Our timeline aims to allow space for thinking, conversation, and iteration.

Sign up now to take part in our inaugural 72-Hour Global Design Challenge and be one of the founding members of this brand new community with UNESCO and the Liiv Center, dedicated to unleashing greater insights into humanity.

“Join us to explore ways to harness anthropology’s wider relevance as a force for good that can drive real impact in an increasingly digital world”
Evaluation Criteria
Here are the criteria that judges will use to evaluate the ideas
Have questions?
Check out our Terms and Conditions and FAQs here.